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Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base Paperback – May 1, 2012
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"A compelling narrative of 50 years of covert operations by the CIA, the U.S. military, and the mysterious "Atomic Energy Commission".... Her meticulous research makes for a fascinating read, as it intersperses the accounts of secret government projects with anecdotes from the people who made those projects happen."―Rachel Larimore, Slate
"An informative history...about the creativity, political acumen and courage of the high-flying Cold Warriors who sought to protect the free world in the decades after World War II."―Andrew Dunn, Bloomberg
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Here are some examples. On page 21, the author refers to the panic caused by the radio broadcast of the "War of the Worlds". She mentions that the public was "sensitized" due to recent technological advances, and she cites the jet engine, the radar and the microwave oven. None of these devices were known to the general public in 1938. Experimental jet engines were being developed in the UK and Germany, but were virtually unheard of in the USA. Radar was also in an experimental phase, and shrouded by a great deal of secrecy because of its military potential. The secrecy was so great that even the German military was not aware about the progress made in the field in the USA and UK, lets alone general public. Finally, the heating effect of microwaves was not discovered until 1945.
Then on page 29 the author says that the nuclear blast travels at 100 mph. As with any explosion, the shockwave travels at the speed of sound (approx. 700 mph).
On page 33 she refers to Peenemunde as the fabrication site for German V2 rockets. V2 was produced at Mittelwerk in the Kohnstein. The initial production line built at Peenemunde was destroyed in a RAF bomd raid. Peenemunde was the test site for V2 rockets, not a production site.
On page 34, the author refers to V2 as a "winged missile". V1 was the winged missile (a precursor of today's cruise missiles), while the V2 was a ballistic missile without wings, only small control surfaces in the tail.
And all these in the first 30 or so pages of the book...
Now, regarding the mysterious Soviet "flying saucer". There is absolutely no evidence that the Soviets had the technology to build a compact aircraft capable of flying at 1200 mph, intercontinental range, hovering capability, and stealthy in 1947. In fact, nobody is capable of building such an aircraft today. If such an aircraft was ever developed over 60 years ago, some information would have leaked out by now. Moreover, if the Soviets had such technology, why didn't they use it improve the performance of their military aircraft during the Cold War armament race?
Today is Memorial Day 2011, a day for remembering the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. For many of us who listened to Coast-to-Coast radio last night, it is a day that we Roadrunners of Groom Lake, a.k.a. Area 51 realize that our valor has been stolen by an author who refuses to repent her literary crimes and errors described herein.
Many members of our Roadrunner association fought in World War II, Korea, Viet Nam, and the Cold War. For years on end, we worked in secrecy, leaving our homes on Monday morning and returning on Friday night, unable for almost half a century to tell our families where wefd been or what we did. Over the past few years the Roadrunners nudged the edge of the security envelope as we sought to establish the legacy of our proud U-2 Aquatone and A-12 Oxcart sacrifices and contributions to our nations security and survival of the Cold War. In 2007, the CIA declassified our identities in the projects, which enabled us to publish our individual participation for the benefit of history, family, and friends. We circled the wagons and as a band of brothers told our stories and contributed to stories establishing the legacy of those already departed on their final flight. For this their families and friends were very grateful.
Approximately two years ago, Annie Jacobsen, an established author and contributing editor for the LA Times wrote an excellent article entitled The Road to Area 51, which described the beginning of our Project Oxcart. Because of the success of the article, Mrs. Jacobsen undertook to author a book about the projects and Roadrunner participants, which we embraced with open arms. We saw it as a great means of passing our stories and proud legacy on to our families, friends, and future generations.
We took Mrs. Jacobsen into our homes and told her our life history that led to our being proud participants in the ultra secret activities at Area 51. We introduced her to our contemporaries, something that most of us had never done before. After 50 years of silence, we sought to allow our brothers the opportunity to finally tell about the major contributions recently declassified that we, as a band of brothers, made to our nations wars. In a domino like effect, each of us opened the doors of others who took our lead in the telling of their personal sacrifices and contributions to past wars, including the Cold War, and to our nations future wars to keep us free.
When we organized the Oxcart Legacy Tour in September 2010, where we spent ten days in the Washington area conducting panel discussions at various intelligence agencies, the Air & Space Smithsonian Museum, the International Spy Museum, and the Capitol Hill Club, we brought Annie Jacobsen along as a friend and author writing our stories. Out of respect to us, these agencies allowed Annie Jacobsen to accompany us to these presentations conducted deep in the inner sanctums of agencies normally closed to those lacking security clearances and a need to know.
Unknown to us, the author, to whom we were telling our life histories, somewhere along the way became an Investigative Journalist credulously seeking to associate our time at Area 51 with the so-called Roswell flying saucer crash in 1947. Unknown to us, she located an elderly former employee of the Atomic Energy Commission whose mind now recalls seeing a Russian-made flying saucer constructed by Stalin that reportedly crashed at Roswell packed with medically and genetically altered children as pilots. According to Jacobsen writing in first person and stating as facts, Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele worked with Stalin to create these alien-looking children and this unidentified witness, a nuclear engineer, was given the job of caring for the comatose child pilots encased in vertical tubular tanks filled with Jell-O-like substance and life support systems. Why, if Russia having this technology in 1947, we arent all speaking the Russian language today, or why a nuclear engineer would be called upon to medically care for comatose children encased in Jell-O-like substance is totally lacking in Jacobsens book. However, on the basis of the sole-source stories of an elderly, unidentified witness, Jacobsen and her publisher completely changed the focus of her book from one of heroics to one of horror and fantasy. When presented with discrepancies in her book and on her website promoting the book, Jacobsen refused to correct them, stating she stands by what she was told or wrote. The following discrepancies on the website could have been corrected, but were not: Bud Wheelon only went up in the trainer, its misleading to say he flew in a Mach 3 spy plane. Bissell resigned in 1961 and Wheelon didnt become DDS&T until 1963, thus it is misleading to connect the two events. Herbert Scoville, the Deputy Director for Research (appointed in 1962 to the position that preceded the establishment of the DS&T) would have been Bissells replacement as Mayor of Area 51h. (A term not officially used to describe the position.) Referencing the JFK assassination in the Donohue character description is off the mark; it had no effect on the program.
Nonetheless, Jacobsenfs book, Area 51 an uncensored history of Americas Top Secret Military Base has excited those who subscribe to activism, scandal, conspiracy, Nazi and Stalin atrocities, and child mutilation, and is racing towards being a number one seller. The scandal is not the veterans, named and unnamed, whom the public now affiliates to the wild, unsubstantiated gory facts contained in the last chapter of the book where Jacobsen ventures into writing as an activist in the first person. The scandal is Jacobsen who is fending off international condemnation by the media, fellow journalists, and the veterans of Nevadas atomic programs and DOD operations at Area 51 by now claiming that as a reporter it was her duty to report what she was told and that it was not her job to verify the truth. Instead of enjoying a great book that the DOD and DOE families can be proud of and share with their families, the aging Roadrunners are having to show up at Jacobsens book signings, not to promote her book, but to set the record straight and clear their names and legacy. However, take away the final chapter, Area 51 An Uncensored History Of Americas Top Secret Military Base is certainly one that should be read to learn a bit about the secret heroes of the Cold War.
President Roadrunners Internationale